I just wanted to write and say that this place was a wonderful spot for a vacation. Me and my g/f had wanted to get away after the holidays so we chose this almost one year old Riu hotel.
After reading the first couple reviews we were a bit leery of it but then we had to remind ourselves that it was mid summer and that is when the Mexicans have their vacation. What can you expect? Not to mention it was brand new and had to work out it's hiccups.
So January 18th is when we left and arrived there in the evening.
We had asked for a king size bed for our suite and we found that they had pushed two beds together. Realizing this wasn't what we wanted we simply went downstairs and asked for another room. The staff was very accomadating and got us another room... which had someone living in it. Laughing we went back downstairs and told them about it. They were very very apologetic about it and upgarded our room to a Junior suite room. One of the staff Jazial (SP) escorted us upstairs and made sure everything was to our liking. We were very pleased and thanked him for his efforts. The only thing we COULD have complained about in the rooms, (but didn't) was there was no fan in the bathroom to un-fog the mirror. Laughs
Just to clarify a regular room is rather small in my opinion. A Junior suite was a very open large room. The bathroom was small but no smaller then from a regular suite.
The food was wonderful. At 9pm we were wondering if we could get any food but found the buffet open with many many food choices available. I don't know how people can complain about the food. They have American food (hamburgers pastas, hot dogs, you name it!), Mexican food, deserts, fruit, soups, breads, and drinks non or alcoholic. Each specialty restaurant had a small smorgasbord of food and all were quite tasty. We did not go to the Steakhouse restaurant because we were not interested in American food. In my eyes sure I"m sure the food could be better but it's an all inclusive. What do you expect? They had abundant food and it was well prepared and excellent in everything. I don't think you can go without any food at any given time of the day.
The drinks from the sport bar are mostly wonderful. Now I don't drink a lot so I can't say exactly how good the drinks were but I do know I liked what I had
A suggestion is to know what type of alcohol you like. For example... if you ask for a shot of tequila they will give you a standard shot of tequila.. no bones about it. However if you want a shot of tequila called El Jimador (fancy brand) all you have to do is ask for it and they'll give you that. El Jimador makes wicked margaritas btw. So don't just go up there and ask for something standard if you expect the best of the best. You have to specify and chances are high they will have it. I wouldn't recommend a drink called the blue ocean. It's nasty. Mohitos are fabulous and there's a pool boy who wanders around offering drinks to the sun tanned people laying around the pool. There are drinks up in the hotel but they are cheap liquor. Go to the sports bar or the bars outside. Also someone said the wine was lousy at the buffet or in the specialty restaurants. I found them passable but not horrid. But I"m not a wine drinker.
The weather was beautiful. The pools were amazing. The ocean was fabulous. I tie these three things in together cause ... well they were all outdoors. It was nice and quiet for us.. VERY few kids about and we stayed around the pool on the left side as everyone else was over at the swim up bar. Can't tell you what I thought of that place cause we didn't go there but lots of people were in the swim up bar. I heard reviews about people peeing in the pool and it stinking like alcohol cause people can't hold their drinks so we just avoided that place all together. If we wanted drinks we'd flag the pool boy down or go get our own from the sports bar behind the swim up bar.
The ocean was VERY swimable at this time of year. We swam in it every day and body surfed in it. Sure the flags were up saying it was dangerous and sure the jellyfish signs were up but what do you expect? There's jelly fish always in the waters... you want them to take it down on a day there MIGHT NOT be any? It's a way to cover their tails. Swim at your own risk. There is a pretty strong current but if your not a moron who swims out over your head without fins your fine. I only saw one jellyfish our entire stay.
The entertainment was... whats the word... mediocre maybe. It was to Americanized in my eyes. I was looking forward to something Mexican.. salsa dancing etc etc. But every night they had something going along the lines of "Grease", "Mama Mia" and a few others. Some of it was great. There was a night where they had an authentic Mexican night where they served a TON of food out on the beach and the ladies got dressed up in fancy clothing while the men dressed up as matador dancers and whatnot. It was great. They put on a fabulous show and I think I enjoyed that part the most. It was mid week around Wednesday. That was the evening entertainment. The day entertainment we didn't participate in as we were to busy swimming, tanning and sleeping. There is darts, Spanish lessons, silly crazy games (don't ask I don't know minus balloon tossing), air rifle range, dancing lessons, water aerobics and so much more.
You CAN travel out of the RIU on buses, taxis or private vehicles. If you decide to do with a company (example Sunquest) then TALK to them before you go out. They know the best ins and outs and where to go. They know their stuff. We took a bus for about six pesos (8 for the new buses) and went to old Mazatlan. Great old place we enjoyed it. Went to the markets, saw pig heads (Warning: the stench in there is insane.. only in the meat area though.. but what do you expect:P), walked along the beach line down there and just had an all around good time. When we were ready we took a bus back to the golden zone and wandered around there. In my eyes I liked the Old Mazatlan better but that's just me. The Golden Zone is very... modern. Make SURE you get a map from your company before you wander off though. Very easy to get lost:) Also if you walk north up the beach at the RIU you will run into a great lil restaurant called Mr Leionos (sp) or something like that. If you go past it and walk further on along the road there's an RV park which has a few convenience stores and a nifty lil coffee shop.
All in all I was impressed. It was my first all inclusive hotel and I found it fabulous to stay at. The staff was wonderful. You be polite to them and friendly they'll open up to you. They are people to so treat em with respect as you would anywhere else. Sure they are there to wait on you but they are not there to lick your boots. Tip the house cleaning ladies. We found the pillows were very small and thin so we asked for two more. We tipped every morning and had no problems. Always had a clean and tidy place they LOOOVE leaving little towel animals. If you want extra towels that's how to do it:). A couple bucks for tips goes a long long way. Sure you paid already for an all inclusive but if you treat the staff like dirt, your're going to wish you didn't. Don't go there expecting them to wait hand on foot on you. They are good but it's an all inclusive. You want full service go to a five star RIU which isn't an all inclusive with butlers with white gloves and whatnot.
Oh one last thing. If you want a quiet room ask for a room 030+. In other words ask for 930, 630, 1635 or anything like that. It'll put you on the far side of the hotel OPPOSITE of the theater for entertainment is. They go on for about 10:30 their time and can be quite loud. We could JUST barely hear them in 1637 when we slept like babies with our sliding doors open listening to the waves crash.
Great place, great food, great weather all around good memory!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Opening summer 2009 * 12 km / 7.45 Miles from Mazatlan, overlooking the Pacific Ocean * Located on Playa Las Brujas beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 20-story main building * Surrounded by 13.500 M2 / 16.15 Sq. Yards of lush gardens * 10 km / 6.2 Miles from various shops * 12 km / 7.45 Miles from Mazatlan * 32 km / 19.87 Miles from the airport * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Emerald Bay Mazatlan